For more than three years, I'd been part of a complex and frustrating dance as my nonfiction, fact-based material was translated from book to movie by scriptwriters whose visions, goals and sensibilities often were quite different from mine.
Watching a whole cluster of friends, and my own mother, die over quite a short space of time convinced me that purely materialist 'explanations' for our mysterious human existence simply won't do - on an intellectual level.
There are hundreds of books about Woodrow Wilson, but I have an image of him in my mind that is unlike any picture I have seen anywhere else, based on material at Princeton and 35 years of researching and thinking about him.
When material comes to me, I don't care where it's coming from. Japan, Singapore, China, Africa... it could be from everywhere. The material should excite me. It's not important where it's coming from.
We learned that there was a super intelligent, passionate audience that wanted material that was nuanced and detailed and authentic.
The pleasure from acting comes from having great writing to work with. If it's well written and the character is interesting, then, as an actor, that's the raw material I need.
The calling of art is to extract us from our daily reality, to bring us to a hidden truth that's difficult to access - to a level that's not material but spiritual.
Yet, history has shown that if material force can defeat some ideologies it can no longer obliterate a civilization without destabilizing the whole planet.
I was living in a small town in Indiana working as a telemarketer and a vacuum salesman. I was really bad: the vacuums seemed to always be falling apart. Every time I did a demonstration, I'd say, 'This is the material the astronauts used on Apollo 13.' And no sooner had that come out of my mouth, something would malfunction.
As he grew older, his material was just as relevant and just as exciting and the band's just as killer... It seems surreal that there's no more Tom Petty, in person.